Grand Planted Tank

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...


I got into the hobby at the mere age of 6. I regret to inform that I started from humble beginnings with a goldfish in a bowl. I went through several more goldfish before purchasing my first 20 gallon tank, of which is still in use today! Originally, I had kept 3 goldfish and a common pleco in it (We were slow learners). After a little while, we decided to switch to tropical fish. My first ever were 2 white mollies and a common pleco.

As time passed, the 20 gallon was once converted again into a gold fish tank, and now remains as a small freshwater QT/Exiles tank. I dabbled with guppies in a 10 gallon briefly in 2012. Unfortunately, this 10 gallon and the guppies that once lived inside it were long gone.

Later, I was granted a 55 gallon from my fathers friend. It was here I made the switch from fake to live plants. The tank lasted a good 2-3 years, until June 1st of 2018 as a tropical tank including angelfish and rainbow fish. Now, it lies barren, soon to be converted into a goldfish tank, returning once again to my roots. Only this time, with much more experience.

After a ripe age with the 55, I decided I wasn?t satisfied. There was a great deal on a 180 gallon fish tank near my local area. I talked it out with my dad, and he agreed. Together, we built up an elaborate plumbing system with a DE (diatomaceous earth) media-containing sump. There will also soon be an automatic water change system added. The tank now is a half Amazon biotope, half Dutch aquascaping style aquarium. This is my first time attempting a high tech tank. It even includes an emergent layer in the skimmer complete with anubias, java fern, and golden pothos! A future idea I have in mind is adding blind cave tetras to the sump! This tank is truly the stuff of my 6 year old selfs dreams. One day, I hope to somehow still be in possession on this tank, and show it to my own 6 year old child...



Custom Built 30 Gallon Sump

Media: (5 Layers)
- Polyester
- Filter Pads
- Activated Carbon
- Bio-Balls
- Ceramic Rings
- Home Depot Paper Filter Cartridge (Connected to pump)

Spread DE (Diatomaceous Earth) on layers 1-2 for instant cleaning of tank!


Tip: Use PVC pipes, couplings, and bulkheads for pipe network!

Check out King of DIY, the inspiration for this sump!

King of DIY:


Light: Dustin?s Fish Tanks Standard Double LED 72?

Hours: 8-14 hours a day, usually 9AM-9PM
Dwarf Hair Grass Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 2
  • Dwarf Hair Grass / Eleocharis acicularis


Custom metal skimmer. Cannot provide more information. Bought from previous owner. Flow can be customized by pump. Max pump = Strong, Min pump = Gentle




x6 Angelfish - One neon green rare specimen
x3 Bala Shark
x8 Boesemani Rainbow
x12 Serpae Tetra
x30 Black Neon Tetra
x2 Kribensis
x1 Rainbow Shark
x12 Corydoras
x6 Garra Rufa
x1 Bristlenose Pleco


Sunshine Pleco (Concerned that it may uproot/eat plants)

81 Fish

6 Angelfish Pterophyllum Scalare
12 Assorted Corydoras Corydoras Paleatus
3 Bala Shark Balantiocheilus melanopterus
30 Black Neon Tetra Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
2 Bristlenose Pleco Ancistrus Triradiatus
Hornwort sp sp
2 Kribensis Cichlid Pelvicachromis pulcher
6 Panda Garra Garra flavatra
Rainbow Shark Epalzeorhynchos frenatus
Rubberlip Pleco sp sp
12 Serpae Tetra Hyphessobrycon Serpae
Severum sp sp

4 Invertebrate

4 Nerite Snail Nerita sp.

22 Plants

Amazon Sword Echinodorus amazonicus
Anubias Barteri v.Nana Anubias barteri var nana
Anubias Frazeri Anubias x. frazeri
2 Dwarf Hair Grass Eleocharis acicularis
Green Cabomba sp sp
Green Ludwigia? sp sp
2 Java Fern Microsorum pteropus
Java Moss Vesicularia dubyana
Limnophila Hippuroides Limnophila Hippuroides
Ludwigia Inclinata Ludwigia Inclinata
Ludwigia Repens Ludwigia repens
5 Ludwigia Sedioides Ludwigia Sedioides
Myrio Myriophyllum pinnatum
Red Rotala Rotala macandra
Unknown "Red Hornwort" sp sp
Parameters (Ideal):

Ammonia: 0 PPM
Nitrite: 0 PPM
Nitrate: 10-20 PPM
Chlorine: 0 PPM
Ph: 6.2-6.8
Alkalinity: 100 PPM
Hardness: 150 PPM

See parameters section for current parameters.



Aquarium Co-Op Easy-Green Fertilizer: 18 mg per week


DIY Co2 System

Feeding See more

Feed (Flakes) · Feed (Frozen Foods) (Bloodworms) · Feed (Vegetables to Plecos) · Feed (Frozen Foods) · Vegetables to Plecos
Food Types:

High Quality Fish Flakes
Brine Shrimp
Beef heart (Occasionally)


Flake food every other day, Frozen food every other day, beef heart once every 2-3 weeks


Once a week:

45 gallon (25%) Water Change
Fertilizer Dosing (See additives section)

As needed:

Clean out filter cartridges
Test water parameters

On average you perform a 18.1% water change every 3 days.

0% total water change in November.

0 activities in the last year

Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

Inspiration & Goals

I have derived inspiration from a variety of places. One would be YouTube. My idea to attempt a Dutch style was derived from magnificent videos of complete Dutch aquascaped aquariums. Another would be my local fish store. The inspiration of an emergent layer came from my LFS?s 33g show tank. It contained a piece of driftwood sticking out of the water, complete with some duckweed and an anubias species. Lastly, my main inspiration was and is, my imagination. Everyone?s is different. Each however can be shared and expressed through aquascaping.

My goals are to dedicate my time to this tank. This is the tank that I dreamed of since I was 6 years old, and now, it?s finally becoming a reality. My goal is to establish a thriving planted tank and emergent layer. A very distant goal is to add wildlife to the emergent layer and even sump! Examples include small crabs for the emergent layer, and blind cave tetras in the sump.

Words of Wisdom

?Never trust a common pleco in a planted tank?

Disasters & Regrets

None as of now


Thank you all for reading. I would like to thank my parents for supporting me in this hobby, my LFSs for educating me, and the people of countless planted tank forums!